Sunday, February 06, 2005

Automated racism?

When you first heard about Alabama legislators' proposal to use cameras to issue automatic tickets to red-light runners, perhaps you were concerned about privacy violations. Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, thinks you should worry more about racism.

Holmes said he is concerned that a disproportionate number of blacks receive seat-belt citations and that police ask motorists for their driver's licenses and insurance cards more often in black neighborhoods than in white ones. He made it clear to the Montgomery Advertiser that he wants the Legislative Black Caucus to join his fight against the bill: "We're not going to give law enforcement in the state of Alabama more tools to harass and intimidate black people. When they put it on the calendar, we're going to filibuster and we're going to lock down the Legislature."

If anything, it would seem automated cameras are more colorblind than living, breathing police officers, so I suspect Holmes may just be airing a generalized grievance here. Still, if he decides to press the issue, it'll be interesting to see just how much sway the Legislative Black Caucus still holds on Goat Hill.

4 Comments:

Blogger larrykim said...

it seems to me, if there is in fact racism involved, it would be easier to prove with a video camera. it doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it doesn't seem to make much sense to me." He isn't in the habit of making much sense. He's about as bad as Birmingham's John Rogers.

As a Democrat, I generally agree with these two guys if you just go by their voting records (generally), but they can get ridiculous. Last week, for example, John Rogers claimed he was going get the dome built in Birmingham and, what's more, (I'm serious) bring the Olympics here. What we have here is an ego that won't quit.


Susan of Local Tint(I don't want to post anonymously, but I have Blogger log-in issues.)

12:11 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

I think Holmes primarily is mad at police because he believes they engage in large-scale racial profiling, so he just found a bill related to law enforcement and went to town on it.

Funny thing about the Olympics: Atlanta and Birmingham were pretty much the same caliber of city about 50 years ago. Then Atlanta built the international airport and (pun intended) everything took off from there. Of course, Ted Turner had a little something to do with it, too. Oh, and there also weren't as many public fire hosings there as in Birmingham. I hear the IOC tends to frown on things like that.

But at any rate, add a few more good, well-timed decisions to the Magic City's past a half-century ago, and maybe Atlanta would have been hosting soccer games for the '96 Birmingham Olympics. Add a few more good, well-timed decisions to the Magic City's past a couple of decades ago, and maybe the Birmingham Jaguars just played host to the Super Bowl. Funny how far everyone can go when the center city and the suburbs quit their bickering and work together.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Susan of LocalTint said...

"Oh, and there also weren't as many public fire hosings there as in Birmingham. I hear the IOC tends to frown on things like that." bahaha... good one.

"Funny how far everyone can go when the center city and the suburbs quit their bickering and work together." That's what it's all about--and it's generally suburbanites/whites who are more hesitant to come to the table. Sunday, The Birmingham News ran a front-page story comparing Birmingham to Jacksonville, FL. I didn't read the whole thing, but the gist was: in 1990, the two cities were very much alike in demographics and economic prospects, but Jacksonville switched to a combined city/county government. Now they're hosting the Superbowl.

10:04 PM  

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